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A great multitude of people who love gambling for entertainment purposes don’t even think about the moral or ethical implications of it. However, with gambling getting legalised in a lot of countries over the past century, people have been increasingly pondering what is the different religions’ take on the subject?
While Canada which is majorly a Christian country, clever Canadian branding by reputed online casinos enables them to attract more and more clients, in countries like China where most people follow Maoism, there are legal implications if anyone is found running or indulging in gambling operations.
In America on the other hand, sports gambling gets a moral pass from most Americans! Let’s understand what some of the major world religions have to say about gambling.
Gambling in Hinduism
Hinduism has arguably more number of followers in the world than any other religion, and quite close to the number of people who follow Islam and Christianity. Some of the Hindu scriptures provide conflicting guidance related to gambling, with a certain degree of tolerance as well as disapproval. As per Manu Smriti, drinking, gambling, sex with women (other than wives) and hunting are considered the four worst vices emanating from desire.
On the other hand, as per the Hare Krsihna cult, gambling is the destructor of truthfulness and often turns a person into a cheat and a liar. It also leads to anger, envy, greed and anxiety.
Gambling in Christianity
Without any specific references of gambling, Christianity cautions against practices like covetousness, materialism and greed, which are known to violate Biblical principles. Christianity talks about the Ten Commandments as essential guidelines for people to guard against any such tendencies. Following are some teachings of Christianity in this regard:
- A greedy man will always bring trouble upon his family
- You shouldn’t seek just your own good, but also of others
- Anything that is not about faith, is sin
- Whatever you do, eat or drink, it should be for the glory of God
- You cannot serve two masters, God and money, at the same time
While these teachings are all valid and make a lot of sense, what would you think of them if you were in place of this Cheshire soldier who won a record jackpot of £13.2m, with just a 25p stake, playing online slots! It can be very difficult to resist such types of winnings and think about morals instead!
Gambling in Islam
Muslims believe Quoran to be different from other religions based on Holy writings. The words of Quoran are accepted as God’s revelation of an eternal realm. The Quoran explicitly forbids against gambling. It says that Satan’s plan is to excite hatred and enmity between people, and he does it through gambling, thus hindering people from remembering Allah, and making them abstain from prayers. It explicitly mentions that it is great sin to have intoxicants and to indulge in games of chances.
Gambling in Buddhism
Gautam Buddha was a prince born in the modern-day Nepal, back in the year 563 BC. Gambling used to be an acceptable and widely indulged-in activity during his father’s reign. Often referred to as the enlightened one, Gautam Buddha is known to have constantly disapproved of gambling activities, and spoke of them as purely unskilled in nature. In his teachings, it is clearly preached that there are 6 dangers of becoming a gambling addict. If one wins he develops hatred; if one loses, he mourns the loss of his wealth; his word is not accepted in courts; he’s side lined by both officials and friends; is not sought for marriage as people perceive him to be incapable of supporting a wife.
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